Sat., March 23, 2019
Moon Phase:
Waning Gibbous
More Info
Inshore Charters
Offshore Charters
Party Boats
Tackle Shops &
Boat Rentals
Tackle Shops
Brrr ...
It's Cold:
Upstate N.Y.
Ice Fishing
Upstate N.Y.
Winter Steelhead &
Trout Fishing
Long Island, N.Y.
Cod &
Wreck Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 5-2-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River and Western N.Y. Creek and Rivers</b>

A storm with torrential rain and strong wind early this week was probably going to raise Salmon River somewhat, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. But the water level previously was a stable 500 cubic feet per second, good for steelheading, and the level would probably remain about the same another week. His trips now fished for drop-backs – steelheads that spawned and were migrating back to Lake Ontario to spend summer. So the trips fished the mid to lower river, and few steelheads remained in the upper. The timing was about normal, and the fishing would probably last into next week sometime. The trips averaged three to five steelheads landed in a day. The outings covered water, working pools, swinging streamer flies across the current, flies like small Intruders. Earth tones like olive, brown and black, maybe with some flash, caught. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.  Once the steelheading ends, he fishes for trout on streams in upstate, western New York and central New York.  The storm would blow out the streams, and they’d probably take a week to recover. Hendricksons began to hatch well, no matter that the streams were probably flooded into the trees. Other bugs would begin to hatch soon. Things were getting “buggy,” and the forage is good for trout fishing, of course.


Big striped bass were plowed from Delaware River last week, a report said on <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b>’s website. That might’ve changed since, and no news was posted on the store’s site or Facebook page since. Other sources said the angling became slower this week. But last week both big and small stripers bit up and down the river, including from Salem to Philly and beyond. The big included catches like one angler’s three 44-, 42- and 39-inchers, all landed within 30 minutes at Betsy Ross Bridge, during 8 hours of fishing. The report didn’t say whether that was from shore or a boat, but both boaters and shore casters locked into big and small stripers, up and down the river. From Salem to Commodore Barry Bridge held good numbers of big last week. Striper fishing is closed on the river from Salem to Trenton this time of year in New Jersey, and anglers release the fish. Be aware about regulations, including about certain circle hooks required to be fished. Pennsylvania allows certain sizes of stripers to be bagged. Farther upstream, the river’s shad fishing was “smoking,” the report said. Three to 50 shad per boat were smashed from Washington’s Crossing to Lambertville. A wader totaled 17 at Bull’s Island in a trip. Two anglers cracked 40 shad and a few walleyes at Upper Black Eddy in a trip. Shad were reeled from the river at least as far upstream as Delaware Water Gap. An angler there kept catching smallmouth bass in mornings and shad in afternoons to evenings. One of his trips angled more than 75 shad among three anglers. Plenty of other fishing was included in the report.


Anglers bailed shad on Delaware River, said Andy from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. The fishing was probably some of the best he’d seen in years. Boaters caught them – 30 or 40 in a trip – and so did shore anglers, like 10 or 15 per trip. They mostly hooked up during the final hour or two of daytime, mostly on darts. Some used spoons. Many of the shad were bucks. He saw a roe caught last week at the Milford Bridge. The Delaware might’ve run a little high. Trout fishing was great, and trout streams ran at pretty optimal levels. Catches included big breeders, rainbow trout, included in trout stocking. A couple of 5-pounders were seen from Big Flatbrook. Most customers fish there who fish for trout. A 7-pounder was also seen. Trout anglers often fished with pink salmon eggs, meal worms and butter worms.

Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> plugged 20 trout on Paulinskill River on a Rapala Countdown in size 3, a deadly lure, on a trip during the weekend, he said. The water level’s been up, good for the angling, because of rain. All the fish were rainbow “stockies,” no size to them, or none was a big breeder. The water level seemed to spread trout throughout the river, including breeders. The river was loaded with trout. A buddy banked two tiger trout, a brown and brook trout hybrid, on the Paulinskill. Those were also stocked. Trout streams will drop as weather warms, and Dave will probably begin lake fishing more often. Springtime’s high water is good for trout fishing with the lures, keeping the plugs from fouling on logs, rocks and weeds. Walleye season opened on Monday, and Dave’s first walleye charter of the year is booked for late May. Those trips fish with cast lures at night, when walleyes push into shallows, where they can be plugged. Walleyes feed on herring that spawn in shallows then. The angling’s a blast and, in the dark, a unique experience. Dave’s been seeing good walleye catches reported from Lake Hopatcong currently. Dave, a school teacher, often fishes by himself or with friends or family this time of year, guiding trips more often once school lets out. But he guides for the trout plugging, too. His buddy Paul Schmidt, a tournament bass angler, has been fishing Connecticut’s Candlewood  Lake , while New Jersey’s fishing is limited to catch and release through June 15 for largemouth and smallmouth bass, because of spawning. The fishing at Candlewood is lighting up bass. An eight-fish bag weighed 38 pounds, and many of the bass have been smallmouths. But Paul’s also been releasing bass at Hopatcong close to shore on Cabin Creek soft-plastic baits. In other news, Dave saw a pretty big musky that the state was taking from Greenwood Lake for eggs. He also fishes for muskies.

Trout streams dropped to almost normal levels at some places, after high water previously, and fishing for the trout was great, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. A few anglers said most largemouth bass in smaller lakes or ponds, where water is warmer, were spawning. Fishing for the bass is limited to catch and release through June 15. Customers who target walleyes and hybrid striped bass at lakes were fishing for them, though no results were heard. They fish small, chartreuse swim baits at night to stand out from schooling herring. A customer bought a half-dozen shad darts to fish for shad on Delaware River on Monday, but nothing was heard about the river’s shad fishing. In saltwater, a customer limited out on striped bass in the surf at Point Pleasant Beach yesterday morning on a floating Bomber lure. Spring is producing good angling this year. More tackle is being bought than during some springs.

Delaware River’s shad fishing was awesome at Belvidere and just about anywhere locally, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. Shad darts and spoons were cast to them, like usual. Trout fishing was good at all the trout streams. Fishing for big trout was best on Pequest River. A few 8-pounders were weighed-in. Trout anglers fished pink salmon eggs, meal worms and butter worms. Crappie fishing produced at lakes. Nearly all fishing was good.

Several good-sized walleyes were weighed from the lake at <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b>, Laurie wrote in an email. Eddie Mackin’s 10-pound 7-ouncer, hooked on livelined herring, was biggest. Dan McErlean nailed several to a 7-pound 12-ouncer. Jeremy Hughen came in with a 7-pound 11-ouncer. Walleye season was opened Monday, and the Knee Deep Club will hold a walleye tournament on the lake Saturday and Sunday. Cash will be awarded, and for info about the contest, see the club’s website or call the shop: 973-663-3826. Trout were also tugged from the lake. Stan Cherry stopped by with a 1-pound 11-ounce brown trout, and Pete Cusick checked in a 1-pound 10-ouncer. Dave and Courtney Coppola trolled trout to a 1-pound 6-ouncer. Several sizable chain pickerel were weighed-in, including Stan Culp’s 3-pound 10-ouncer, Greg Coughlin’s 3-pound 8-ouncer and Lou Marcucci’s 3-pound 6-ouncer. John O’Neill cracked several pickerel to a 3-pound 9-ouncer.

Fishing’s been good, said James from <b>Behre Bait & Tackle</b> in Lebanon. That should continue, as long as water levels remain. Levels were perfect currently at many places. Round Valley Reservoir’s trout fishing slowed a little. No big numbers were hooked, but decent numbers were, and the angling was consistent. Boaters fished 70 feet of water for rainbow trout down 15 to 25 feet and lake trout along bottom. Shore anglers also caught trout at the reservoir, mostly at Rangers Cove, on shiners and PowerBait on slip-bobbers. James wasn’t asked how Round Valley’s water level was. Water there had been quite low this past year in a drought. But the reservoir was filling back up, when James last reported about that some weeks ago. Spruce Run Reservoir turned out a heck of a mixed bag of fish, including 5- and 6-pound largemouth bass, 16- and 17-inch crappies, smallmouth bass, northern pike and catfish. Fishing for largemouths and smallmouths is limited to catch and release through June 15 for spawning. A 39-inch northern was tackled from the water. That’s big. Hybrid striped bass began to “wake up” at Spruce. Catches were all made in shallows, in less than 10 feet of water, at Spruce. For shore anglers, the key was to cast as far from shore as possible. James walks out in waders to chuck a cast as far as possible. Herring will begin to spawn in shallows at the different lakes that hold them. Once that happens, fishing really jacks up. Nothing was heard about Merrill Creek Reservoir, and no customers seemed to fish there. Trout streams fished well, and gave up many big breeders 6 to 8 pounds that were stocked. South Branch of the Raritan River and the Musconetcong River tossed up some big.

A couple of customers fished Passaic River for smallmouth bass, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. No results came in, but the bass should be there. Let them go through June 15 by law. A couple of customers fished for northern pike on the river, too. The northerns should be able to be hooked. The river was somewhat high but not “rushing.” Stocked trout were still plucked from Verona Park Lake. Freshwater fishing’s alive and well, she said.

Stocked trout still bit, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. That included in the Toms River, especially at the Trout Conservation Area. Spring Lake fished well for the fish. Customers frequently fished for crappies and chain pickerel at different waters. One customer was scoring largemouth bass well at Assunpink Lake. Largemouthing is restricted to catch and release through June 15. The bass were getting ready to spawn at a few local ponds. That makes the fishing tough, because the largemouths become reluctant to feed. Customers often bought killies and shiners to fish freshwater. Some customers gave up freshwater fishing since the run of big bluefish smashed into local saltwater from the lower Toms to Barnegat Bay, Barnegat Inlet and the surf. They got after the slammers instead for the moment. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Striped bass fishing slowed on Delaware River locally, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Anglers still picked an occasional large, like 30 pounds. He suspected the river’s stripers were spawning, so maybe the fishing will pick back up afterward. Not much was heard about the catches, including from farther upstream toward Trenton. Limits of trout were still bagged at stocked lakes. One sharpie said inline spinners tipped with a meal worm were key. Lots of the spinners were sold. Largemouth bass began to spawn at lakes. So they were in shallows, and anglers sight-fished for them with jigs, trying for a reaction strike. The bass usually won’t feed while spawning, but sometimes they’ll attack something like a jig they think is invading the spawning bed. That’s a reaction strike. Release the bass through June 15 by law. Photos kept being seen of good crappie catches at lakes. Crappie Magnets in the Slab series drilled the fish. White and chartreuse were popular colors. Bowfins and snakeheads were fought from tidal ditches off Delaware River, like along Route 130. Bowfins are a prehistoric, native species. Cut bait on wire leaders was fished for the toothy fish. They look similar to snakeheads, the invasive species. But snakeheads aren’t toothy and don’t require a wire leader. The government urges anglers to kill snakeheads when caught. 

Largemouth bass served up good fishing, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Release them through June 15 according to regulations. Rainbow Lake fished awesome for the bass. Decent reports rolled in from Menantico Ponds. Elmer Lake fished pretty well for the largemouths. Soft-plastic lures were often tossed to the largemouths, like lizards, Senkos and creature baits. Some big crappies came from lakes. Crappie fishing was alright, and was good at Parvin Lake. Crappies were hooked at Malaga Lake. Trout fishing remained handy at stocked waters, including South Vineland Park Pond, Iona Lake and Maurice River. White perch fishing tied into solid catches at brackish, tidal creeks. In saltwater, striped bass were slid from the surf at Fortescue on Delaware Bay. Boaters began to bunker-chunk stripers on the bay better than before. The season’s first reports began about drum boated from the bay. Big bluefish tore around ocean inlets, especially, and also from the surf to back bays along the ocean coast.

Back to Top